In a Tuesday conference call Secretary Betsy Devos explained that the risks associated with the pandemic should not be the reason for not reopening schools. Devos said, “Risk is involved in everything we do, from learning to ride a bike to riding a rocket into space and everything in between.”
Devos, who has an estimated net worth of about a billion dollars, has been reported insisting that schools be “fully operational” this coming fall semester. This comes as a surprise especially in light of her previous stance that some schools may have to use virtual learning in the fall.
She explains, “Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools should reopen. It’s simply a matter of how. They must be fully operational…How that happens is best left to education and community leaders.”
Though she did not explain exactly what “how” meant, she was quick to allege that some education officers “just gave up.” She later expressed disappointment in the efforts many public school districts made to comply with government health instructions and guidelines.
Despite this coronavirus presenting schools with an unprecedented dilemma this past spring, many public schools worked with swiftness and tact to ensure that students still get the education they need. They deserve to be recognized for their efforts. Fairfax County Public Schools, a top district in the nation, planned to split the school week into two days of in-person learning and three days of remote learning. This was an abomination to Devos, according to Salon media. “Things like this cannot happen again in the fall,” she said. Betsy Devos later said in an interview with Neil Cavuto that Fairfax County Public Schools was a “disaster.”
President Donald Trump said in a tweet Monday that “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!” He also threatened in another tweet to cut off funding for public schools despite lacking the power to do so. This comes after some states have reported increasing infection rates especially in states with high populations like Texas, Florida, California, and Arizona.
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